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Many attend Alumni Weekend 2014

Alumni Weekend 2014 was a hit, with more than 200 people attending. That number included 15 Alumni Council members who volunteered in one way or another.

This year, Alumni Weekend was moved from Commencement Weekend to June 6-8 this year.

In addition to moving it to June, the weekend included a variety of changes.

“The changes had been percolating for a while, and we observe other colleges have done it this way,” said Alumni Relations Director Dave Linscheid ’75. “We feel the weekend was a success, with many positive comments from those who attended.”

Changes included allowing alumni to stay in Voth Hall Friday and Saturday nights; having the event spread over three days instead of two; honoring the class of 1964, which celebrated its 50th reunion anniversary; giving alumni the chance to serve by painting Mod 3C; having a new way to open the weekend with a Friday night ice cream social; allowing alumni to attend a couple of classes designed just for them, which were taught by professors emeritus John Sheriff and Bob Regier ’52; moving the Alumni Banquet to noon; having an alumni choir; and conducting the Heritage Roll of Honor service during Sunday chapel.

The theme for the weekend was “Back to Bethel!” and various events used that theme, such as “Back to the Inn.”

Alumni Weekend was for all ages but was primarily for the classes of 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959 and 1964. All other classes marking a reunion milestone will celebrate during Fall Fest on Saturday, Oct. 18. These are the classes of 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2004.

“Younger classes have been wanting to meet during Fall Fest rather than Alumni Weekend,” Linscheid said. “Having this special weekend on a date other than Commencement Weekend frees up time for more activities, and we wanted to have alumni stay on campus. We also wanted to be able to lift up and honor the 50th reunion class in a special way.”

Linscheid was happy with how many attended.

“We were pleased with the (total attendance) considering seniors, their family members and two reunion classes no longer participated in the weekend,” Linscheid said. “My guess is the numbers were much the same (as in the past), but we have hopes that the new version of Alumni Weekend will catch on, and they’ll increase in the future.”

The Alumni Relations Office would like feedback from alumni who attended and those who did not regarding the Alumni Weekend changes. To give us your feedback, email or call Linscheid at 316-284-5252.

Bethel maintains high pass rate for national nursing exam

For the third year in a row, Bethel College nursing graduates exceeded the national average pass rate for the licensure examination for registered nurses.

Bethel received a certificate of commendation for the 2013 reporting period from the Kansas State Board of Nursing. KSBN awards these certificates to nursing programs in Kansas that exceed the national pass rate.

The National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses, more commonly known as NCLEX-RN, is required of all nursing graduates before they can be licensed as registered nurses.

Bethel’s high pass rate is more noteworthy this year since the passing standards have increased, said Bethel Director of Nursing Phyllis Miller.

We were especially happy to achieve [our] result with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing raising the standard of passing in 2013, she added. That makes it more difficult to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

In keeping with changing nursing practice, the National Council continually evaluates the skills and abilities needed to safely practice nursing, and adjusts the passing rate accordingly. In a year where one can see dips in NCLEX scores with this adjustment, we were gratified with the excellent efforts of our graduates in achieving these scores.

Donations of cars needed

Alumni and friends have another way to support Bethel through a special in-kind donation.

Earlier in the year, Ada Schmidt-Tieszen ’74, professor of social work, came to Fred Goering ’74, director of development, with a request.

We have a number of students in social work who need transportation to get to their field placements and don’t have a car available, she said. This is a bigger problem than it used to be because we have more students who come here from California, Florida and so on, and simply fly in.

So I’m wondering if you have any donors who might want to contribute a car to the college for students to use when they go to field placements.

In the meantime, senior James Goerzen, Goessel, initiated a new club, the Car Club, with Hamilton Williams, associate professor of social work, as the faculty sponsor.

The club is for students who are interested in cars, but since Goerzen and Williams have mechanics’ skills, they would be available and willing occasionally to do routine maintenance work on donated cars.

Cars should be in basic working condition. High mileage and lack of extras is no problem, but the college doesn’t have the financial resources or people-hours to fix up non-working vehicles.

Donated cars would become the property of Bethel College. Anyone interested in donating a vehicle should contact Fred Goering at fgoering@bethelks.edu or 316-284-5226.

Community acceptance directs graduate toward service

It’s not unusual for up to 10 percent of a Bethel College senior class to choose voluntary service upon graduation.

But the choice wasn’t a slam dunk for Wes Goodrich ’14, who completed a double major in biology and psychology in May and will start a Mennonite Voluntary Service term in Tucson, Arizona, at the end of August.

Goodrich came to Bethel from Independence, Kansas, but he didn’t grow up there. He was born in Washington, D.C., and lived with his family in Atlanta, and then Colorado, before moving to southeast Kansas to be closer to extended family.

Growing up, Goodrich says faith didn’t play much of a role in his family life. We did go to a Baptist church at one point, but it never really stuck, he says.

About the time he started high school in Kansas, Goodrich’s divorced mother met and eventually married a Jewish man, whom Goodrich describes as unorthodox, but observant.

It made a bigger impression on me, since it was during those critical years, he continues. We tried to observe the high holy days. But I’ve done Christmas for a large part of my life, too.

There were two families [in the Independence area] who used to meet at the old people’s home every couple of weeks. It was a very individualistic journey, without the community you’d have as part of a church or synagogue. That’s one thing I came to appreciate about Bethel, the model of community.

For more of this article, visit http://www.bethelks.edu/news-events/news/post/5033/.

Golf tournaments in August and September support Bethel

Alumni and friends of Bethel are invited to support the college through the Alumni Association by playing in two upcoming golf tournaments. Both will be hosted by members of the Golf Committee of the Alumni Council.

The 21st annual Summer Thresher Golf Classic and Barbecue will be on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Galaway Creek Golf Course, Henderson, Nebraska.

The committee also will host the 23rd Fall Thresher Golf Classic on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Sand Creek Station Golf Course, Newton.

For registration forms, contact the alumni office at 316-284-5251 or wnugent@bethelks.edu, or follow the links at www.bethelks.edu/alumni/events-for-alumni-and-friends/golf-classics/.

Climate and energy exhibit at Kauffman Museum

Kansans doing research supported by the National Science Foundation is the focus of the display open July 18 to Jan. 18, 2015, at Kauffman Museum.

Climate and Energy Central is an exhibit featuring research on climate trends and agricultural irrigation, solar capture and nanotechnology, Native American land use and more.

Kauffman Museum, in collaboration with Flint Hills Design of North Newton, designed and built the traveling exhibit that premiered at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan and that will tour throughout Kansas.

For more information on the exhibit and public programs, contact Rachel Pannabecker ’80 at .

High school seniors invited to Summer Visit Day

Students about to start their senior year in high school are invited to make a campus visit to Bethel and see a contestant from NBC’s The Voice at the same time.

The July 18 campus visit day will allow prospective students to meet professors and coaches, visit with current Bethel students, tour campus, learn about financial aid options and start the paperwork for scholarship applications.

And if that’s not enough excitement, Kaleigh Glanton, a contestant from the most recent season of The Voice, daughter of adjunct professor of guitar Howard Glanton and a frequent performer at Mojo’s Coffee Bar on campus, will give a concert that evening at the Fox Theatre in downtown Newton.

To reserve a space for the visit day, go to http://www.bethelks.edu/summervisit/. For tickets to Kaleigh Glanton’s July 18 concert, go to www.foxnewton.com/#!events/cjg9.

Host families needed for next academic year

Host families are needed for students for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Student Life Office encourages out-of-state students to apply to the Host Family Program. Students complete a student survey indicating their interests and expected campus involvements in order to be matched with a host family with similar interests. Host families also can fill out a survey, and community volunteers match students to families.

Expectations of the host family include welcoming the student into their family life and to the Newton community, providing home-away-from-home opportunities, such as a place to study or watch a movie, and attending special functions from time to time.

Students need family to stay successful, said Aaron Austin, vice president for Student Life.

Things not expected of the host family include providing financial support, laundry services or transportation to events, or snacks/meals to a student’s friends or roommates on a regular basis.

A host family’s home also is not intended to be a place for the student to stay during breaks or during the summer, although they may be willing to offer their home if they so choose.

This experience provides benefits to the college student and family alike. Students benefit from having a home away from home, having someone to turn to with questions and enjoying an occasional home-cooked meal. Families benefit by forming long-lasting relationships with students, experiencing college life through the eyes of the student and receiving affirmation of helping a student with a family support system.

Anyone interested in being a host family can contact Patsy Dirksen ’81 in Student Life at 316-284-5324 or studentlife@bethelks.edu.